Mrs. Frances Willson Thompson

Frances Willson Thompson

Why did she love Flint so much?  Her family heritage was like a religion to her.  She was a fiercely loyal and proper woman, and it wouldn't have been right to abandon her hometown.  Family tradition was a defining mantle for her.  Whatever the reason, she was thankful for all that Flint had given to her family and her, and she wanted to give back.  She's a tough act to follow!

- Susie Thompson, Granddaughter of Frances Willson Thompson

Frances Willson Thompson was a true original.

Interested in books and ideas, Mrs. Thompson believed that a community could and should be enriched through dialogue.  It was that belief that led Mrs. Thompson to create an iconic lecture series that would bring to the Flint community leading experts to debate and discuss the critical issues of our times.

For over 20 years, the University of Michigan-Flint has had the distinct honor of hosting this annual gathering that brings together campus and community. The Critical Issues Forum is designed to inform, enlighten, and challenge us to think differently and broadly about the things that have an impact on our lives.

We are forever grateful to Mrs. Thompson and the Thompson family for this community legacy that we share in each spring.